When it comes to how motivational speaking and motivational speakers are viewed in Nigeria, we have two groups. While many are not interested in motivational speaking at all, a whole lot more value motivational speakers from all countries except their own very Nigeria. This is the general mentality that makes almost the entire Nigerian population spend so much acquiring foreign products while they have some hardworking brothers and sisters down here producing stuffs of no less value. The group which is not interested in motivational speakers at all has concluded that listening to or reading books by motivational speakers is a total waste of time. A young lady went as far as telling me that it was quite stupid of me to spend the money and time I would have used for something else on motivational books. But is this not rather a shallow way of thinking? It is; and could have only come from someone who has never listened to or read a book by any motivational speaker. And as Wayne Pyer has observed, ‘The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about’.
Motivational speakers are gifted people like singers and comedians, and they have great burning desire to encourage, inspire, challenge, and give hope to people through motivating them. The motivational speaking industry in Nigeria is a growing one; unlike what we already have in developed countries like the U.S.A. That notwithstanding, we have some great men and women here doing a great job. Let’s get to know them:
- The first on our list is Vincent Anigbogu, a professor of Analytical Chemistry who came back to his country Nigeria to fulfill his passion of transforming lives after a successful lecturing career in the United States. In line with his vision, the Prof. established the famous Institute for National Transformation (INT) in 2007, one year after his return to the country. The institute, which is his platform for carrying out the life transformation vision, has training centers in Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa, Ivory Coast, and even Atlanta in the United States, and London in the UK. This great voice for Africa says he has ‘an unquenchable passion for a new Africa and to see a fulfilled God’s vision for the people of African descent. This is why he is on a mission to ‘develop over 20 million leaders worldwide’. And besides the institute, Vincent Anigbogu works as consultant to the government, churches, various business establishments and institutions of higher learning.
- Ubong Essien, the first motivational speaker in West Africa to be designated Certified Speaking Professional, comes next. He has touched many lives in Nigeria and beyond with his passion to help people discover and improve themselves. In 2007, he attracted international speakers to Nigeria with the first ever International Speakers Summit he hosted in the country, which was graced by the likes of Lenora Billings-Harris, The president of the National Speakers Association, U.S.A, and Robyn Pearce, the president of the International Federation of Professional Speakers. Ubong, the author of The Complete Speaking Course, Dare to Dream and Succeed, and The Gateway to Riches, is the dean of the public speaking training centre known as the School of Eloquence based in Lagos and London. He has served as consultant to big companies like NLNG, Nigerian Tribune, UAC plc, May and Baker, and many others.
- Oluwafeolami Durotoye, popularly known as Fela Durotoye, is a household name. He is among other things, a gifted motivational speaker who has passion for Nigeria, especially her youths. With a clear mission to ‘Build the people that will build the nation’, Fela has engaged in many projects over the years in a bid to help build the Nigeria of our dreams. He is the C.E.O of Visible Impact, one of the avenues through which he is fulfilling his mission. Other projects of his are GEMSTONE (Generation that will be Empowered, Motivated, and Stirred to operate with Natural Excellence); RAISE, and many others through which he is set out to ‘build the people that will build the nation’. In 2012, Fela broke the record of most number of books signed in one sitting by a single author when he signed 10,000 of his book, 17 Secrets of High Flying Students, in 8 hours 49 minutes in an event.
- The next on our list is Sam Adeyemi, the founder and senior pastor of Daystar Christian Centre. Sam is a soft-spoken motivator who has touched many lives through motivational speaking, using the platform of the Christian religion. He anchors programs on radio and television, and is the president of Success Power, a non-profit organization, which is an avenue he uses to fulfill his vision of impacting lives. Sam has authoured many books, some of which are Success is who you Are, Parable of Dollars, and Second Revolution.
- The first motivational speaker in Nigeria to be designated Peak Performance Consultant (PPC) is the 1982-born George Essien. He is a young , vibrant speaker who started his speaking career in 1995 and went professional in 2005. Through self-determination and persistence, George has risen to the top and now has the mission of using his story to inspire and encourage young people. George speaks at workshops and conferences across the nation, and is the organizer of PowerMinds Community, an NGO that is an opportunity for him to reach out to people.
- Next on our list is Niyi Adesanya, an expert on the subject of leadership and human capital development, who started his professional speaking career in the year 2005. He is the president of FifthGear Consulting Firm, Alliance of Change Empowerment Speakers (ACES), and Niyi Adesanya Mass Empowerment Initiative (NAME-IT). Niyi has offered his services to such big companies as Chevron, Texaco, and Etisalat. His published books include The Speaker, The Politics of Career and Business, and Individual Competitiveness.
- Steve Harris is also a rising force in the motivational speaking industry. He is a great speaker who was listed among the world’s top 100 business coaches to follow on twitter as at April 2016. He is the managing director of EdgeEcution, an organization of management consultant, and a certified member of such prestigious organizations as Internatioanal Coach Federation (ICF), Life Coaches Association of Nigeria, and International Certified Consultants Association, Canada. Steve describes himself as ‘The shortest distance between where you are and where you want to be’.
- Uju Onyechere is another top Nigerian motivational speaker and consultant. His passion to help people discover themselves made him take up freelance writing for news papers as a way to reach out to more people during the early years of his speaking career. Today, he tells us that he has ‘mentored professors even as a first degree holder’. Uju is the C.E.O of Edwards and Benson Group, and has authoured books like Models and Mentors, and Managing Executive Stress.
- It wouldn’t be out of place if we include our very own ‘Naija Oyinbo’, would it? She is Patricia Omoqui, an American woman married to a Nigerian man, and so Nigerian by marriage. The Princeton graduate has been a huge impact to the lives of many across the globe. The Thought Doctor, as she is also popularly called, has passion for Nigeria and expresses this passion through her space as a columnist in various Nigerian newspapers and magazines like Vanguard, Allure, and others. Patricia is also on different TV stations in various countries, where she inspires people with her enriching video clips.
- Finally—but in no way the least—we have Olakunle Soriyan. He is a pastor at Fountain Life Church, and the Principal Transformation Strategist at his Olakunle Soriyan Company. Olakunle has a powerful life story of how he went from somebody to nobody, and then fought his way back from nobody to somebody again. He uses the very many mistakes and wrong decisions he had taken in life, and how he rose above them, to encourage other Nigerians and give them hope.
Our list contains just 10 of the numerous speakers we have in the growing motivational speaking industry in Nigeria. We can sincerely agree that Nigeria, just like many other countries, is flooded with aimless, unmotivated youths who need motivation to stay activated. Let’s connect with our speakers and, together, move the nation another step forward!